The Great Designers: Oscar de la Renta
Today's designer spotlight is very special to me, because the Oscar de la Renta dresses were one of the reasons I fell in love with fashion! Season after season we see exquisite pieces of art in the collections. The lavish skirts and dresses, the embroidery, the perfect detailing, the over the top feathers and luxurious fabrics, the exquisite jewels and the ornate trims, the beautiful colors and feminine shapes make me smile and whisper "Thank God I am a woman!"
Images via Style.com
Oscar de la Renta was born in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic, where he spent his childhood. The tropical island filled with colors is the main source of inspiration for the designer. When he turns 18, Oscar moves to Spain to study painting at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. The Spanish culture, and especially the Spanish fashion captivate him, and his interest in design begins to grow by day. The future designer soon starts sketching for Spain's leading fashion houses and lands an internship with the couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga. The next step the great talent takes is to move to Paris and join Antonio Castillo at the house of Lanvin as a couture assistant. In this extravagant, luxurious scene, Oscar begins to realize that the future of fashion is in the ready-to-wear, so he moves once again, this time to New York. There he takes Diana Vreeland's advice and returns to couture designing Elizabeth Arden’s custom-made clothing line. She promotes Oscar's name and he gains further public recognition.
In 1965, after years of working with some of the greatest couturiers in the world, the Oscar de la Renta signature ready-to-wear label is created. The recipe for success is the combination of the designer's Latin American passion for vibrant color, his European-trained eye for luxurious fabrics and embellishments, and his unique understanding for all things feminine.
What follows are numerous prestigious awards, a fragrance, accessory and home line and of course, in 2006 the launch of the bridal collection, featuring extraordinary embroideries and beautiful fabrics, from silk duchess to French Alençon lace.
"I have always felt my role as a designer is to do the very best I can for a woman to make her look her best. Fashion is only fashion once a woman puts it on.”
~ Oscar de la Renta